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The Flavours of Autumn Shine Through Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu’s ‘Pesto and Pistou’

Marking another gastronomic triumph for a brand synonymous with culinary excellence for more than 70 years, the expert chefs at Mövenpick have perfected a new innovative range of pestos (Italian) and pistous (French) to create seven experimental dishes

Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu is inviting international guests
and local residents to come savour the tastes and flavours of the Mediterranean this autumn with
the launch of its latest global menu – ‘Pesto and Pistou’.

Marking another gastronomic triumph for a brand synonymous with culinary excellence for more
than 70 years, the expert chefs at Mövenpick have perfected a new innovative range of pestos
(Italian) and pistous (French) to create seven experimental dishes, available at The Sails
restaurant throughout the month of October 2019.

Chef Christian Bouby, culinary head at Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu, will lead the kitchen
in preparing the pesto and pistou based dishes. These two classic European sauces are based on
the aromatic herb, basil, which is harvested in late summer. Savoury favourites will include seared
Saku tuna with olive and eggplant pesto and seafood soup with tarragon pistou. For dessert, a
sweet treat with a real difference – Bundt cake with chocolate-mint pesto, served alongside a frothy

Bundt cake with chocolate-mint pesto

“It’s always a thrill to work on new menu concepts, especially with the abundance of fresh produce
and seafood available which comes straight from local farmers and suppliers,” said Christian
Bouby, Executive Chef. “Discerning palates are in for a play of flavours, in ways they have not
likely experienced before, with the distinct color and character pesto and pistou infused into each

General Manager, Max Huber, added “While our guests and our local fans love to return for their
favourite classic Mövenpick dishes, we always seek to surprise and delight with seasonal offerings
or special food related events. We are certain that our Pesto & Pistou menu will excite even the
most experimental foodies, while providing a fitting a tribute to the flavours that conjure up
Mediterranean sun and sea.”

Seafood soup with tarragon pistou

Pesto and pistou are two versions of a flavourful sauce based on basil, olive oil and cheese. Italian
pesto, which originates in Genoa, the capital city of Liguria, Italy, is blended from garlic, basil, pine
nuts, grated parmesan cheese and olive oil while its French cousin, pistou, is a Provençal cold
sauce with similar ingredients, but without the pine nuts and with or without cheese.

Mövenpick’s versions add surprising new ingredients to the blend, while preserving the essence of
both Mediterranean specialty sauces to create seven pesto/pistou-inspired dishes:

  •  Saku tuna with olive and eggplant pesto: pan-seared tuna fillet with a modern
    interpretation of ratatouille, pine nuts and black tapenade;
  • seafood soup with tarragon pistou: a touch of tarragon and a unique blend of sweet
    aniseed and saffron bring this specialty seafood dish to life;
  • tagliatelle with walnut-basil pesto: walnuts replace pine nuts to create an imitable new
    pesto blend that is smooth, sweet and deliciously buttery;
  •  Cod with pesto rosso: accompanied with risotto made from finest Arborio rice to absorb
    every ingredient and flavour in full;
  • beef fillet with red cabbage pesto: a traditional winter vegetable with a sweet edge gives
    this pesto dish punch;
  • chicken breast with bell pepper pesto: with peas, green beans, egg, a basmati rice
    galette and sublime bitter-sweet yellow-red pesto;
  •  Bundt cake with chocolate-mint pesto: a timeless German cake with a cool mint and rich
    chocolate pesto twist, served with an Espresso.

For reservations at The Sails restaurant, please contact at +63 32 492 7777 or email
hotel.cebu.fandb@movenpick.com. For more information on Mövenpick’s Pesto, Pistou menu, available throughout October 2019, please visit: movenpick.com/pesto.


ECQ EATS: The Ultimate Biko

Biko, a sweet rice cake from the Philippines made of coconut milk, brown sugar, and glutinous rice and is usually topped with latik.

The enthusiastic host Christine Pelaez gives the traditional Filipino dish an indulgent twist—a thicker, richer latik.

photography Philip Lapinid IV

With her collection of cookbooks, plates and cutlery, it’s clear that Christine Pelaez is someone who loves to entertain. From intimate sit-down dinners on their long dining table to larger occasions with buffet tables and catering, she enjoys welcoming people into her home and sharing the tastes she enjoys.

Christine Pelaez

“It depends on the guests really, but if it’s foreign guests, I always serve Filipino food,” she says when asked on what’s usually on her menu. “I usually make chicken binakol (chicken in coconut broth). Foreigners love it, especially when I serve it in a coconut shell!” And like any Cebuano, Christine agrees that no celebration is quite the same without lechon—Cang’s Lechon in Lahug being her roasted pig of choice.

Her biko, though, was the star of the afternoon. “The secret is the latik,” Christine reveals with a smile. The thick and rich topping makes her version a more indulgent take on the Filipino favorite, and it’s something we can’t wait to recreate in our own kitchens.



2 cups glutinous rice
2 cups water
2 cups brown sugar
4 cups coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon salt


Combine the sticky rice and water in a pot, and cook. If the water dries out and the rice isn’t cooked, add small amounts of water until rice is completely cooked.

To make the latik, combine the coconut milk with brown sugar and salt in a separate pot, and cook in low heat. Stir constantly, until the texture becomes thick. Set aside part of the latik.

Combine the rice and the latik, making sure to mix them well. Scoop the biko onto a baking tray, and top with the remaining latik.



Once the latik starts to thicken, set aside half of the mixture.

Mix one half with the cooked rice, and keep the other in the pot and continue to let it thicken. You can add more coconut milk, if you want to give it a richer taste. Keep cooking until the latik reaches an extra thick consistency.

Scoop the biko onto a baling tray, and top with the extra thick latik.


(This article had already been published in Zee Lifestyle’s October 2017 Entertaining Issue, “Christine Pelaez: The Ultimate Biko” on pages 26-27.)

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ECQ EATS: Home-Made Sandwiches

compiled by Chrissy Grey Resaba

Staying at home could be sometimes boring especially if one got used to going outside for lunches and dinners and entertainment. For people like this, it is quite discomforting but, they have no choice at all or yet, they may suffer a consequence should they break the rules of the government with regards to this crisis. To ease the situation, we have a tickle spot that can also shoo away boredom: food. 

Food is always our guilty pleasure. We can never say no to it. Be it a chocolate bar, chips, or a favorite breakfast cereals, there is always a happy feeling we get with food. To fight the boredom while staying at home, here is a comfort food that is palatable and easy to prepare–sandwiches!.

Who ever thought that two slices of bread could contain so much delicious goodness? It doesn’t get more basic than inserting food in between bread. You may opt to a basic ham and cheese sandwich or a breakfast sandwich or experiment your own foreign specialty like the bahn mi, it is a treat that everyone will surely love!

Try making these three easy-to-make delicious sandwiches:

  1. Bacon Guacamole Grilled Cheese Sandwich

A buttery and toasty grilled cheese sandwich stuffed with cool and creamy guacamole, crispy bacon and melted jack and cheddar cheese.


2 slices bacon

2 slices sour dough bread or bread of your choice

1 tablespoon butter in room temperature

½ cup jack and cheddar cheese, shredded

2 tablespoons guacamole in room temperature

How to:

  1. Cook the bacon until crispy and set aside on paper towels to drain.
  2. Butter one side of each slice of bread, sprinkle half of the cheese onto the unbuttered side of one slice of bread followed by the guacamole, bacon, the remaining cheese and finally top with the remaining slice of bread with the buttered side up.
  3. Grill over medium heat until golden brown and the cheese has melted, about 2-3 minutes per side.

  1. Crispy Baked Chicken Sandwich

This will rival anything you can get in a fast food chain. A deliciously baked crispy chicken sandwich recipe with garlic mayo sauce.


1 tbsp virgin olive oil

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast

Sea salt

Fresly ground black pepper

1 large egg

1 tbsp water

¼ cup all-purpose flour

½ cucumber

2 tomatoes

Unsalted butter

4 toasts

Lettuce leaves

How to:

  1. Gather all the ingredients
  2. Butterfly the chicken breast. With the edge of a knife parallel to the cutting board, cut the length of the side of the breast. Carefully slice the breast in half width-wise almost to the other edge. Keep the edge intact and open the breast along the fold. Season the chicken with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  3. Crack the egg into a medium bowl and add 1 tbsp water. Whisk well to combine.
  4. Put ¼ cup flour in a bowl (or large tray). Dredge the chicken in flour and shake off excess flour, then dip in the egg mixture.
  5. Slice the cucumber with a peeler and cut the tomato into thin slices.
  6. Toast the sandwich bread (optional) and spread butter. Put the lettuce and the chicken on top.
  7. Put the cucumber, tomato slices, and another toast on top. Cut the sandwich in half and serve immediately.

  1. Classic Tuna Salad Sandwich

This easy tuna salad recipe is one of the go-to easy lunches during the summer months and this enhanced community quarantine. It’s perfect in tuna salad sandwiches, too!


12 oz white flaked tuna in water (drained)

1 stalk celery finely diced

2 dill pickles finely chopped

1 green onion sliced

¾ cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon Dijon

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

Bread toasts

How to:

  1. Drain the tuna well.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.
  3. Use to top a salad, in sandwiches or to add to pasta salads.

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Celebrate Graduation at the Diamond

Premier business hotel salutes graduates with terrific promos!

Diamond Suites & Residences, a premier business hotel in Cebu City, is saluting graduates with terrific room and food & beverage promos valid in the whole month of March.

An overnight stay for the graduate and two (2) companions in a Superior Room goes for more than 50% off the published rate at only P2,700.00 per room night. Rate includes breakfast and use of facilities.

Graduates may choose to take the 5+1 promo on the Diamond’s Asian Fusion Dinner Buffet on a Friday. This wide buffet is a coming together of forty of Asia’s best known flavors and includes Japanese, Chinese, and Malaysian cuisine, as well as everyone’s favorite lechon belly. The Asian Fusion Dinner Buffet goes for only P548.00 per person.

Both graduation promos are valid in March 1-31, 2020. Celebrate this milestone in your child’s life at the Diamond.

The Diamond Suites & Residences offers a varied scale of classy and fully-functional facilities and amenities for both business and leisure. The hotel is centrally placed in Cebu City’s premier business district. The location is unmatched, service is beyond compare.

Find more information, call Diamond Suites & Residences today at (032) 402-9800 or (0917) 872-6375. Alternatively, email inquiry@diamondsuitescebu.com.

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